The Ethicurean Win Young British Foodie of the Year

About the YBF’s

“They’re the people putting food and drink back at the heart of our communities. They’re the men and women using lost arts and new skills to bring craft back to the kitchen…..Perhaps more importantly, they’re the people who’ve come to represent the best of British innovation and entrepreneurship in a struggling economy.”

Matthew and Jack were both nominated for Young British Foodie of the Year in spring of this year. Matthew in the food category and Jack in the alcohol. They made it through the heats and into the final which took place for Matthew in Viajante, Bethnal Green and 69 Colebroke Row bar in Islington for Jack. The food final saw a whole host of talented chefs cook for judges Nuno Mendes and Marina O’Loughlin. The alcohol final was judged by Tony Conigliaro and his bar team.

Here was Matthew’s entry:

Cured venison violin, carrot & garden leaves.

Rocket, chard, parsley, liquorice shallot, walnut, black cardamom carrot, anise white carrot, juniper jelly, wood sorrel, cobnut & lacto-ferment carrot juice.

 paired with- Fermented juniper ‘Smreka’ drink.


Gloucester Old Spot pork belly.

Potato, buttered sea aster, pickled Bramley, beer pickled shiitake, coriander cabbage, nasturtium & chipotle crackling salt.

 Paired with- The Gardeners Old Fashioned cocktail. Bottled.

Matthew put together his dish in front of the judges and the other finalists. He foraged the majority of the ingredients with Iain, gardener Mark Cox grew the rest at Barley Wood and Jack shot the roe buck in Somerset. He served the pork dish with a bottle of Jack’s cocktail. A pairing that has been reviewed by drinks writer Fiona Beckett here.

Here was Jack’s entry:

The Gardeners Old Fashioned cocktail. 

Burnt Somerset oak, Somerset Cider Brandy, chipotle tincture, vanilla, bitters, toffee apple cake syrup.

This drink was based on the classic ‘Old Fashioned’ normally made up of brandy or whisky, bitters and a citrus twist. Jack made is own version that had its own ‘Sense of Place’ in Somerset. He roasted seasoned oak chips until they began to char and then added them to Julian Temperley’s 3 year Somerset Cider Brandy. He then added drops of vanilla tincture to simulate the flavour that comes when Bourbon is matured in American oak. Chipotle tincture brought a heat that created a greater sense of strength and smoke that alluded to an Islay whisky with the peat flavour of Laphroaig. The drink was sweetened with a mixture of caramel and apple juice in the form of a syrup that is normally served with our Sticky Toffee Apple Cake.

Despite Tony Conigliaro’s Poker face during the competition the judges awarded Jack first place and The Ethicurean won the alcohol category. Matthew came second to Giles Clark of Koya in Soho. Well done to everyone that entered the competition, it was brilliant fun.

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